The Syrian Regime and Russia Killed 91 Civilians in Khan Sheikhoun and 43 in Douma, Over Half of Whom Were Women and Children
The Hague – The Syrian Network for Human Rights
This week marks the sixth anniversary of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun city on April 4, 2017, and the fifth anniversary of the Syrian regime’s chemical attack on Douma city on April 7, 2018. Regarding the attack on Khan Sheikhoun city in Idlib governorate, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) documented that 91 civilians, including 32 children and 23 women (adult female), died of suffocation, while nearly 520 others were injured. In the attack on Douma in the Damascus Suburbs governorate, SNHR documented that 43 civilians, including 19 children and 17 women (adult female) died of suffocation, while nearly 550 others were injured.
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (COI) concluded that the Syrian regime was responsible for the two attacks on Khan Sheikhoun and Douma city, while the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) proved that chemical weapons were used in Khan Sheikhoun and Douma without ascertaining which party was responsible for the two attacks. The OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), established in accordance with Security Council resolution 2235 in August 2015, proved that the Syrian regime was responsible for the Khan Sheikhoun attack, with its mandate coming to an end by the way of a Russian veto before the Douma attack.
On January 27, 2023, the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) released its third report, which states that “there are reasonable grounds to believe” that at least one Mi8/17 helicopter dropped two cylinders on apartment buildings in an area in the center of Douma city between 19:10 and 19:40 on April 7, 2018, in a military attack by Syrian regime forces. The helicopter, operated by the Russian-backed Nemer ‘Tiger’ forces, operated out of al-Dmair Airbase.